Thursday, May 12, 2005

Repent or Resign -- What to Say and Not Say from the Evangelical Pulpit

(AgapePress) - "Let me just say this right now: If you vote for John Kerry this year, you need to repent or resign."

Tough words, those. And they cost the pastor of a small church in North Carolina his job when he resigned this week. A number of explanations for these words have been articulated.

  • Bad reporting? Almost certainly; that is what the liberal media is known for. But, to be fair, the liberal media outlet I was viewing played a tape. That is good reporting.


  • Hyperbole? Sure, these words were likely uttered in the heat of a passionate sermon. But, the pastor knew this: any candidate like Mr. Kerry who boldly and proudly votes in favor of child sacrifice (abortion) and child-sacrifice four-fifths out of the womb (partial-birth abortion) is no friend of the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole or of a small Baptist church in North Carolina. Kerry was wrong on most social and moral issues of import to evangelicals, and pastor Chan Chandler knew it.

    Were that all pastors across this nation were so enlightened.


  • Other dynamics within the congregation?
  • Sure sounds like it. Quite beyond the pastor, it seems as though a war was brewing within the church. The near future of that congregation appears to be on shaky ground. The old campfire song "They will know we are Christians by our love ..." would be a good tune to start humming

As a middle-aged pastor and a seminary professor for nearly 20 years, let me add a little counsel for young pastors ready to set the world aflame for Christ:

Stick to the basics. The Word of God clearly explained and spoken by pastors who are Spirit-filled, driven by Great Commission purpose and are themselves in the cultural fight (beyond their preaching ministries) is what is changing the world for the glory of God.

Figure out who you really want in your congregation. A former mentor of mine was once told by a district superintendent that his was the "sickest" congregation of any the DS had ever encountered. My friend replied, "Thank you very much."

Where do you want the homosexuals, the pro-abortionists, the crack-addicted, the alcoholics and, yes, even the -- gasp! -- Kerry supporters, if not in your congregation hearing the God-breathed Word of the Lord? Don't kick them out -- bring them on.

Beware of political cheerleading. A former governor of my state was the darling of the religious right. Evangelicals sang his praises as he led in prayer before political rallies and fought for all the issues the conservative Church took seriously. Then he was photographed returning from Paris with his girlfriend. Then the messy divorce. Then the mocking of the churched people who had stood by him all the while as the "liberal media" chased after him. He said C'mon, you knew the truth all along. The real truth was this -- evangelicals are prone, like everyone else, to cheerlead their candidate instead of calling their favorite politicians into accountability.

Important stuff to remember of the current evangelical resident of the Oval Office, who appoints homosexuals to high offices and signs bills awarding money to Planned Parenthood.


Pastors ought to have the constitutional right to say whatever they want from their pulpits. Even inappropriate and stupid things. But a political right doesn't necessary mean the better part of wisdom.

Remember -- the Great Commission is our commission. To make disciples, not Bush supporters or Republican voters.

9 Comments:

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Nirusen said...

Bravo...

Thank you for your advice today. When will we quit being reactionary and start being the government of God in the earth? Will the Body ever learn to trust the Holy Spirit or do we have to say like the Shake-n-Bake commerial; "it's Shake-n-Bake and I helped".

 
At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember -- the Great Commission is our commission. To make disciples, not Bush supporters or Republican voters.

Amen!!

I m tired of guys like Jim Dobson and Chuck Colson giving "Republicans" a free pass if they claim to be a Christian.

 
At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sick of the so called christians supporting a man like bush is a lair, has not morels. The white house is full of dirty cover ups. Christian do not start to see what Bush is doing to this country and the repubicans backing his dirty lies and bills that he is passing at the end of bills he signed for war liek National ID.

Bush Cheney, Rowe, Rice, all of them are ading this country to hell. We will have not churches soon the only reason they support him is because they are afaird to loose their tax exempt status. What if he takes that away and starts taxing churches then we will see how the christian support our looser bush.
Impeach bush today eore its late.

 
At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

iF cHRISTIANS ARE SO FULL OF MORELS AND VALUES, THEN WHY DO THEY ALLOW BUSH TO CONTINUE TO LIE AND COVERUP THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT sEPT. 11, iNVASION OF iRAQ, THE KILLING OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN iRAQ, KILING YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS,

iS THIS WHAT THE CHRISTAN PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY LOVE THIS KIND OF DIRTY PRESIDENT WHO LIES.

YES I AGREE HE SHOULD RESIGN AND TAKE THE REST OF THE DIRTY CROOKS WITH HIM

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger John said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger John said...

Dr. Friedeman,

Great article and insight. You gave wise advice.

Others,

This is only about polotics on the very surface of the issue (there goes the bandwagon); it's too easy to start sniping and bickering. The deepeer issues are what Dr. Friedeman addressed: the pastor and congregation in question, the Great Commission, etc.

John
http://FourGoodReasons.blogspot.com

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger John said...

From Agape Press:
DOBSON: LOTT HAS BROKERED DEAL ON FILIBUSTER
A prominent pro-family leader says he is "disgusted and alarmed" that
Mississippi Republican Senator Trent Lott appears ready to cut a deal with Senate Democrats to preserve their right to filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees.


That pretty much puts the kaibash on the above wrong claims about Dr. Dobson and Mr. Colson. When making sweeping statemnts it is usually a good idea to know what you're talking about first.

FYI, TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED YELLING AND RUDE.

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt:
"Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."
1 Timothy 5:20-21

I will quote you,"...evangelicals are prone, like everyone else, to cheerlead their candidate instead of calling their favorite politicians into accountability."

Matt: You sir are "prone" to cheerlead your favorite evangelical
"pastor", instead of "calling him into accountability."

I think the accountability you have called the "resident of the Oval Office" is due!

You sure are quick to jump on him (President Bush), and quick to hold hands with the "pastor", that MANY have shown through careful searching of God's Word, that he is "Pastoring" the sheep astray!

Matt: "Remember-- the Great commission is our commission. To make disciples, not (RICK W.) supporters..."

Hypocrite.

signed,

Brent

 
At 9:28 PM, Blogger Stan said...

Thank you for a well thought out and reasoned posting.

I must confess that I a bit saddened by some of the comments listed here. Too often, as evidenced by these comments, it is not the thoughts presented that command discussion rather it is the personal diatribes and vicious, mean spirited attacks listed here. Who benefits? Who is persuaded to a different position on important issues?

Are they who write with such anger, though diametrically opposed in ideology to the pastor mentioned in the posting, any different?

 

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